We’re always scoping out new ways to dip our fries.
Ketchup makes a great dunking or squirting option, it’s true. And the most adventurous among us even use chocolate shakes. But there’s a more epic condiment you’ve likely never heard of before, at least not by this particular name name: It’s called fry sauce.
The creamy, smooth dip is a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, usually with some added vinegar or Worcestershire sauce for bite. Legend has it that Utah restauranteur Don Carlos Edwards invented this specific recipe in the 1940s for his fast-food chain, now known as Arctic Circle, according to Eater’s comprehensive history.
Variations on the sauce can be found throughout the world, because everyone loves combining ketchup and mayo. For example, a similar sauce called mayoketchup, long used in Puerto Rico, is made with garlic and sometimes lemon.
But ever since Edwards introduced his version, fry sauce has remained a cult favorite in Utah and the surrounding states, loved by many for its smooth and tangy taste. How have we never heard about this stuff?!
Fry sauce fans will be quick to tell you that while it may look similar, fry sauce is NOT the same as Thousand Island dressing. Fry sauce is “slightly sweet, totally creamy, with just a hint of tang from the vinegar,” according to food blog Buns in My Oven. Thousand Island, on the other hand, usually has chunky mix-ins involved, like pickles and onions, as Eater notes.
Fry sauce makes a less sugary alternative to ketchup, unless you add extra sugar, as some recipes suggest (our advice: ignore them). While store-bought ketchup is typically loaded with sugar, standard mayonnaise has minimal sugar, if any at all. The mayo-heavy recipe means that most fry sauce is significantly less sugar-laden than ketchup, though of course it’s far from a health food.
Fast-food chains sell fry sauce all over the state of Utah and the surrounding area, Atlas Obscura reports. You can buy it bottled in many Utah grocery stores, order some online if you live far away, or, of course, make your own. Enjoy!
This post has been updated with information about similar sauces in other countries, and the headline has been altered.